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Opinion

Those who become the most dominant are, more often than not, the most evil

In the absence of good leadership and common purpose, a society can decline to be driven by its lowest and most horrible common denominators

05 June 2022 - 00:01

I sometimes wonder whether we all have a capacity for savagery within us. I think we do, alongside other primal drivers of human behaviour, some good, some bad. All these traits are capable of emerging, like desire or anger, on the surface, or beyond that, as an overflow into the societies into which we have grouped ourselves — either capable of bringing great joy or causing desperate harm. In his monologue before Romeo enters, the Friar (in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet), as he goes about collecting his basket of “baleful weeds and precious-juiced flowers”, reflects on a plant which has both pleasurable (when smelt), and poisonous (when tasted) qualities, and then goes on to consider these two forces (of good and evil) in people, before concluding that “where the worser is predominant, full soon the canker death eats up that plant”...

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